Significance of groups and mergers

Recent merger of different violent groups with the TTP is a sign of strengthening shared gains and survival techniques


Faisal Ali Raja October 28, 2021

Organisations of all hues and colours operate with human, technical and material resources. The cohesiveness of their structural composition works to achieve the aims and objectives of these organisations. The more compact the structure of an organisation, the more efficient is its institutional capacity and capability. Perhaps nothing damages an organisation more than internal dissention which often leads to formation of small groups on varying pretexts that undermine its output and performance.

The process of formation of these groups are both internally and externally motivated. There are many ways in which such groupings become part and parcel of an organisation. A clear formation of groupings in a regimental or a disciplined organisation challenges its management compactness and command unity. Though groups emerge within state and non-state entities, nonetheless, they can also merge together for mutual gains and strategic purposes. The passive groups often contest with each other for promoting organisation’s effectiveness through integrity of management. Many active groups in paramilitary forces remain passive unless they develop rivalries with each other and thus try to outperform one another.

Such competition develops the organisational friction and the workforce becomes disillusioned with such activities. The latter lose interest in the organisational work and its performance declines with passage of time. The more such situation persists, the more intense these groupings become in such organisations. At a later stage, the leaders of these groups start the process of cult following which underplay the organisational rules and norms. It finally converts the organisation into a personal enterprise which is then being run through a coterie of senior operators.

In another scenario, the groups in regimental organisations who do not show their differences openly are focused by external actors. These actors try to enhance the differences of these groups in public domain through social media posts and internet discussion. Such actions in cyberspace deepen the differences of these groups which is disseminated to the lowest cadres of these organisations as well. As the concept of the grouping ossifies and unity of command erodes among the field operators, they get distracted from the personal ambitions of these group leaders and overlook the organisational objectives. With the passage of time, the psyche of personal gains seeps into the minds of the lower workers who start following in the footsteps of their seniors, thus intensifying the internal dissention and differences.

Once such a situation is developed, the organisation is divided on clear lines of variance and the unity of command and order is affected badly. The loss of concept of a central authority paves the way for disintegration and finally the collapse of an organisation takes place. Recently the Afghan National Army (ANA) experienced massive dissention as the central command was worn down in the backdrop of US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The personal ambitions of the foot soldiers also contributed a lot in the organisational dissipation process as the force categorisation became prominent on ethnic lines. A similar type of groupings exists among the terror organisations.

In it, groups coordinate with each other to bolster organisational success chances against a common enemy. They also enter into alliances with each other to inflict maximum harm on state forces and institutions. The internal rifts based on financial gains, ethnic leanings, geographical acquisitions and human resource accumulation lead towards emergence of new groups. As a splinter group is formed, its aims and objectives may differ from its parent group and it can give tactical surprises to the law enforcement agencies. The recent merger of different violent groups with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a sign of strengthening shared gains and survival techniques through mutual cooperation.

It is essential that the TTP should be weakened through internal fissures by different means. The art of understanding the formation process of these groups, factions and mergers can assist in predicting organisational behaviour and future action patterns of state and non-state entities.

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